SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith reports NASCAR "is beefing up its brand and consumer marketing division in its efforts to reach a younger and more diverse audience." The series has hired former Coca-Cola marketing exec GREG DOWNEY as Senior Dir of Brand & Consumer Marketing. He will report to Managing Dir KIM BRINK. In addition, former ESPN exec DAVID ZANE will direct the brand marketing team and report to Downey, while former brand consultant JOSEPH "PEPE" MACHIN will start later this month as Dir of Multicultural Marketing. The positions for Downey and Machin are new, while Zane was hired to fill an existing position (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/6 issue).
SWAPPING COASTS: The NFL Media Group named CBS Interactive VP/Communications & Media Relations ALEX RIETHMILLER VP/Communications. Riethmiller will focus on publicity for NFL Network and NFL Digital Media. He will move from Florida to L.A. and will start Aug. 20. Riethmiller has worked at CBS since '99 (John Ourand, THE DAILY).
PAPER BOYS: The newly formed NOLA Media Group, launching this fall, announced that NOLA.com Dir of Content JAMES O'BYRNE will direct state news and sports coverage. Also, New Orleans Times-Picayune Sports Editor DOUG TATUM will manage coverage of professional and collegiate sports (NOLA.com, 8/5)....San Diego Union-Tribune Sports Editor JAY POSNER announced that after more than 23 years he will leave the sports department and become the paper's editor for three Arts & Entertainment sections. The Union-Tribune named LARRY GRAHAM Exec Sports Editor and TODD ADAMS Sports Editor (THE DAILY).
EXECS: EPL club Arsenal CEO IVAN GAZIDIS has been appointed to the English FA's Professional Game Board and the FA Council (REUTERS, 8/5)....The Rockets have hired gaming industry marketing exec SCOTT ANDREWS as the team’s new Chief Strategy Officer. Andrews worked for 10 months as CMO at the M Resort in Las Vegas and previously worked in various marketing positions for Harrah’s Entertainment for nearly a decade (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/6 issue)....Ohio-based Icon Sports Management hired VICKY PALMER to lead the firm's events and hospitality programs. Palmer was previously IMG VP/Golf (Icon Sports Management)....In Louisville, Jennie Rees noted Churchill Downs "didn't stray far from home in naming its first new track superintendent in 30 years, appointing DAVID LEHR to replace his brother BUTCH." David Lehr has "worked in operations at Churchill Downs Inc. since 1972 and had filled in as interim track superintendent after his brother retired July 1" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 8/4)....The Univ. of Maryland named MATT TAYLOR Assistant Dir of Media Relations (THE DAILY).
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